You're probably wondering, "What happened to the third day?" The third day was spent learning how to compose and create using Photoshop before you even get out a piece of paper. It was full of informative and interesting facts and techniques. But I can't go into that - suffice it to say it could have been a workshop all on it's own and Nick shared how he creates some of his interesting compositions using various photos in a type of montage/overlapping style (and I intend to use this "trick" for my own compositions in the future).
Day Four began with a demo of a simple composition, with Nick talking about drawing and painting buildings that have more personality, using concave lines instead of straight or convex lines. I did not do a good job on my own little "sketch." I never do buildings or landscapes or really create anything without a photo reference, so that's my excuse for doing so poorly. I know it's something I should work on...but there are so many other areas I want to improve in that this will be put on the back burner. I did appreciate what he was trying to do for us and how this took us back to basic composition skills that should be easy to use on every painting (but it wasn't that easy for me). There were about 1/2 the class who benefited from this a lot. As Nick says - you always get a mix of beginners through advanced in these workshops and you have to gear your demos and exercises for all members of the group so sometimes the advanced feel like they are far beyond that while sometimes the beginners feel they don't understand what's being done. It's a hard mix to get just right - maybe like a good martini?
We immediately went into a big, poured painting! A canyon began with a basic contour drawing of the shapes, and Nick poured a gorgeous mix of Quinacridone Gold + Transparent Brown. Yummy colors!
He called this process "Progressive Composition." And that meant, if you had elements of the composition you didn't like in the first drawing and pour, you adjusted them in the second, and third, and fourth pours. Since there were shapes he didn't like in the first pour, he cut in with some lines and cut out with some lines before doing the second pour with Alizarin Crimson. What a bold color!!! But see how some of that gold shows? So you get the first color showing through in areas, the second color pure (where you go outside the first lines) and you have a third color when the first and second layers merge.
Normally, Nick would have painted four layers but due to time constraints he went right into a bold, juicy dark color (a mix of a blue and Dioxizine Purple that is strong!!!). Again, cutting in some areas and outside some areas to adjust the composition even more. And you have the beginning of a canyon painting.
As that was drying, he began doing a little demo of the koi in water (similar to the DVD he has out) for those who wanted to see that "batik" technique up close and personal. I tell you, it's all a matter of timing - he has it...I don't!! ha ha So more practice to get this right for me so I don't wash away all the paint...or none of the paint. Time to get out the timer and see how long it takes for the optimum amount of the paint to stay on the paper with the optimum amount still wet enough to wash away.
This is my first canyon pour...I didn't mix anything in with my Quin Gold so it's pure Quin Gold and I got a bad piece of Arches hot press (see the right edge and those blotches?) that worked out okay on this because it's just more texture. But it took forever to dry and you dry each layer before starting with the next layer. I don't have a photo of the second pour for me but I'll take a photo of where I am on this now (I've worked on it here at home and have something...I think...worth sharing).